SOUND OFF: 12 Years, Bigger & Longer - The 2014 Oscars
The 2014 Academy Awards telecast was lovely, lengthy and a generally low-key affair, filled with more than a few buzz-worthy moments worth a replay or two as well as some spectacular song sequences, too - as would be expected from two noted and similarly Oscar-winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Ellen Degeneres delivered on the humor as expected, if not surpassing expectations in doing more than merely decently, whereas the winners themselves were generally smart and savvy choices, all said - 12 YEARS A SLAVE and DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB nabbing many top awards and GRAVITY scoring many technical honors. Plus, Disney's hit animated movie musical FROZEN took home a well-earned trophy or two and its sensational lead Idina Menzel was responsible for not only the performance of the night - a Swarovski explosion of epic proportions, with vocals to match - but also the viral video, too, byway of John Travolta's unfortunate faux pas introduction mispronouncing the Broadway superstar's name. Oops, Oohs, Ahhs, and, well, OZ, the 2014 Oscars fulfilled its promise of entertaining, if perhaps overstaying its welcome - yet, who would want to sacrifice those fabulous speeches; or anything else, for that matter? Everyone got their moment - but maybe just a moment or two too many.
Let It Go
So, let's reflect on a dozen of the best moments of the night in honor of the riveting and searing slavery-themed Best Picture winner, 12 YEARS A SLAVE - which, incidentally, was overloaded with theatrical talent - with a particularly theatrical bent, no doubt.
12. THE GREAT GATSBY - costume and set designer Catherine Martin received two more statuettes to go with her two for movie musical landmark MOULIN ROUGE!, directed by collaborator - onscreen, onstage and off - Baz Luhrmann.
11. Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto's emotional dedication to AIDS victims - and, his mom.
10. Best Documentary Feature Darlene Love & 20 FEET FROM STARDOM - sing it, superstar (in or near the spotlight)!
9. Best Actress Cate Blanchett - the Sydney Theatre Company got her final shout-out... and deservedly so!
8. Best Song nominee Pharrell - "Happy"? Not hard with a song this catchy. Plus, a scintillatingly shimmying Meryl Streep?! An unforeseen vision made majestically real (and then some).
7. Liza! How astoundingly fabulous was Miss Minnelli in her hip new blue-tinged look - finished off with a fierce electric cyanic streak in her coif, of course. Halston would be proud!
6. Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o - ravishing and refreshingly candid, her first feature film was also her first Oscar win, but she started on the stage, studying at the Yale School of Drama (shout-out included). And, what about that hug from the one and only Liza With A Z?!
5. Best Screenplay winner Spike Jonze for HER - no doubt deserving of a special honor for Broadway/Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson's unparalleled voice work alone, but also this.
4. SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK and Best Song nominee U2's performance of their MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM anthem. Rock on, Bono and boys! And, bonus points to Bette Midler for crafting a respectful and poigniant performance for the In Memoriam segment.
3. Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez not only completing Broadway baby Bobby's EGOT but also earning a tear or two, too, in the process.
2. Pink & THE WIZARD OF OZ tribute - "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and beyond! But, the real question remaining: can Pink really pull off PETER PAN on Zadan & Meron's PETER PAN live TV broadcast later this year?! It would be perfection, no?!
1. "Let It Go" from FROZEN courtesy of Idina Menzel? Gone - to heaven and back.
So, that's it for the 2014 Academy Awards aka The Oscars - 2014 was without a doubt a stupendous year for film and though the telecast may have been a bit extended, the entertainment value provided by many of the main winners and the song sequences themselves certainly made it worth the watch.
From This Author Pat Cerasaro